by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
cord cutting, pay tv, tv, watching

Over 400,000 Homes Have Cut The Cord So Far This Year... But Cord Cutting Is Still A Myth?

from the reality-smacking-that-myth-around dept

For a few years now, we've been hearing pay TV execs (and some of their favorite Wall Street analysts) claiming that cord cutting in the US is some sort of myth, even as the numbers continue to prove otherwise. The latest stat is that, since the beginning of this year 400,000 households have cut the cord and dropped pay TV services. At what point will the TV guys realize that cord cutting is real? They still like to blame it all on the economy, but the fact is that the vast majority of these users are never going back. Until TV execs realize that's a fact, they're never going to understand how to adapt.

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  1. icon
    DannyB (profile), 6 Aug 2012 @ 9:13am

    Cable TV is obsolete

    The whole idea behind cable tv and broadcast tv is an obsolete technological artifact from the previous millennium.

    It was due to the limited technology of the day that entertainment had to be divided up into into "channels" that used valuable spectrum -- whether you or anyone was actually watching or not*. To make life worse, in the age before DVR's, they didn't broadcast those shows at all odd hours of the night when your DVR could record them. Instead you had to adjust your life around when your favorite show came on -- or miss it.

    So it was sliced and limited in one dimension by channels, and slice and limited in another dimension by time slots. And as the major-international-sporting-events-that-must-not-be-named** illustrates, Prime Time is everything. People are expected to organize their life around a time slot, in order to learn about events that already happened and are over -- but we can't let the actual news of what happened escape in real time.

    With Internet instead of Cable TV coming into my house, I don't need the bandwidth for all those HD channels. All I need is bandwidth for the one that I am watching right now. And in principle, this internet-thingy technology doesn't have any built in limit, in principle, on how many possible servers could exist to serve entertainment to me. Eg, they aren't limited by the finite resource called spectrum. Furthermore, the internet tv can be on-demand -- when I want to see it. And even more inconceivable to the old broadcast TV, I can watch it from anywhere, in principle, across the country or across the globe. And on any device, for example, while riding the subway using WiFi, or a cellular data plan. No worry about moving "out of range" of the broadcast area.

    Cable TV has gotten lazy. 200 channels, and still nothing to watch. All trash, 24 hours a day. Reality TV. Info-tainment style soft news. The History channel has, yes, Ancient Aliens. The Science channel has, (gasp!) Ghost Hunters or Oddities.

    They just can't seem to believe there may be some upper limit to how many commercials they can put in front of our eyes. Even after a commercial break, they interrupt your show for the first couple of minutes with animated distractions that cover up part of the reason you were watching in the first place. Even when those end, there is always the ever present annoying bug in the corner with the logo superimposed on the program. At some point, Enough is Enough.

    *Philosophical question: If a reality tv show is broadcast, and nobody watches, does it still use up valuable spectrum?

    **This reference is in no way meant to imply anything official or unofficial about any particular sports related event that may or may not be going on in London in 2012.

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